Friday, August 13, 2010

Political Pinatas

Politicians and bureaucrats are easy targets . . . and sometimes they deserve to be bashed like a birthday pinata. However, I don't agree with indiscriminate literary bludgeoning of these unfortunate public servants, mostly because they aren't full of candy.

Seriously, I do realize that it isn't fair to pummel everyone with the same club. I know a few honest, hardworking bureaucrats, and I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I'd find some true-blue politicians as well. MP John Rafferty, whom you may remember me saying nice things about, is an example of a political pinata edging out of reach of my beating stick. He agreed to take a turn on the dunk tank seat at our fundraising calendar kick off. Hopefully he won't be an easy target that day. The more people that miss, the more money we make. No one can resist a dry politician in a dunk tank seat.

John suggested that we find a Stephen Harper mask for him to wear, which would generate even more frenzied target practice. I briefly balked at the disrespectful prospect of dunking our Prime Minister in proxy, but visions of potential revenue quickly drowned my last flake of conscience. Besides, Stephen Harper is perfectly welcome to take the seat in person, if he so desires. If you are reading, Right Honourable Sir, consider yourself challenged.

MPP Bill Mauro also agreed to take a turn in the wet seat, earning himself one free pass by my pinata club. I'm reserving final judgment on Mr. Mauro, however. He is, after all, a member of the ruling Liberal Party of Ontario, which seems to be making war on the fire service these days. I do intend to meet him one day though, and we'll see. Maybe he's just blissfully ignorant of the financial and recruiting nooses that are tightening around many volunteer fire departments' necks. Honourable Sir, consider yourself on probation. [after note: apparently MPP Mauro didn't say he would take a turn in the dunk tank. He did make a sponsor contribution to our calendar, and took the time to attend the event in person though. Still on probation. TB].

Speaking of dunk tanks and calendars, our Fire Within calendar project is moving along nicely. The photo shoot is August 19, and our kick off event is scheduled for September 11, to coincide with other departments that are doing the Heroes in the Sky event. Sadly, we won't be camping on the roof, as we originally planned. Along with the many advantages that accompany group projects, comes the disadvantage of compromise. In this case, the other stakeholders wanted to host the event at the Stanley Hotel, a well known landmark right in the middle of volunteer country . . . which has a peaked roof. I put up a feeble protest, but I was out-voted. The up side is that the other stakeholders have strong organizational skills, and I believe that with the help of MP Rafferty and others, we will have a successful event.

With such a long history of having crazy ideas voted down, at least I know I'll never run for elected office. It's okay though. I'd much rather be the club than the pinata.

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